Agriculture is vital to economy in Southern Illinois. The 12th district is the most diverse district in terms of agriculture in the State of Illinois, and I am proud to represent the more than 10,000 producers in our district with my position on the House Committee on Agriculture.
Our district is more than corn and soybeans, agricultural diversity can be seen throughout the district. The 12th district produces more than half of the horse radish in the United States. Rice, specialty crops, orchards, vineyards, livestock, and dairy can be found almost everywhere you look giving residents in Southern Illinois access to some of the best tasting wines along with fresh fruits, vegetables, pork, and beef right in their own back yard.
Protecting our agricultural economy is vital to the sustainability of our rural areas. For that reason, I am actively working on increasing rural broadband access for residents and businesses and increasing the accessibility of credit to our new and beginning farmers and ranchers so they can continue the agricultural heritage Illinois is famous for. I will continue to work to make sure the 2014 Farm Bill is being implemented within the scope of the law and work with my colleagues and grass root agriculture organizations to find new ways to reduce regulatory burdens that dampen the sustainability production agriculture.
For those involved in agriculture, it is a very expensive endeavor to see a crop through from planting to harvest. That is why I am committed to maintaining the safety net for producers that the 2014 Farm Bill established. Furthermore, I know the bounty that Southern Illinois can produce and I support efforts the United States Department of Agriculture has made in making sure food security is available to those who need it the most.
While there are still several years to go until a new Farm Bill will be discussed, Congress is not wasting any time doing full-scale reviews of every program to find out what is working and what isn’t in order to be better stewards of tax payer dollars.
If you have any questions regarding agriculture policy, please feel free to contact my Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-5661